Connecting with Nature: Walking in the Rain

With pots on the stove and dinner underway, I realized that we were out of barbecue sauce for our pulled pork. With a grocery store just a couple of blocks away, my typical response would have been to hop in the car, especially since it was raining. It would take just a few (dry) minutes to get to the store, grab what I needed and get back and get dinner on the table. But today, despite the rain, I decided to walk.

Even though we have two full grocery stores within a few blocks of our house, we don’t walk to the store all that often. With three kids in tow and groceries to feed a family of five, I usually need to drive in order to get all of the kids and food home, and stay sane in the process. But today, I really did only need one thing. And with the kids distracted with other things, I could actually walk to the store, alone(!), in the rain.

As one who grew up living for the sun, I was didn’t have much of an appreciation of rainy days. Being a kid in the 70s, I grew up listening to the tunes of the Carpenters and clearly remember singing along with Karen Carpenter … “rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” I’m not quite sure if I identified so strongly with those lyrics or adopted them as my mantra because I so loved the Carpenters.

Over the years I have come to understand and develop a greater appreciation for all seasons and the variations in weather that they bring, especially since having children of my own. That appreciation often comes from seeing how invincible kids are in the rain … stripping away layers of clothing to feel every sensation, seeking out and stomping through puddles, rescuing worms, and “cooking” with mud, grass and leaves. The same fun stuff I did as in the rain and that kids almost universally seem to do.

On this day, it was my turn to play. The light tap of raindrops on my wind breaker set the rhythm for my short walk. The warm summer air and dense grey skies engulfed me as I stepped out for a brief period of solitude on a day spent in the company of others. My version of play on a day like today involves simply strolling, listening to the beat of the rain on my hood; breathing in the newly cleansed air long and deep; feeling that splatter of raindrops on face, hands, and sandaled feet; and watching the leaves dance as the rain sets them in motion with each drop.

Slowly, my attitude towards what I had long felt were unpleasant weather days has shifted, and I am glad. I must make more time for slow walks in the rain!

The take-away? Connecting with nature doesn’t always need to involved a big time commitment, lots of gear, or far away destinations. A simple walk in the rain is a great way to connect with nature. Enjoy!

What is your favorite thing about rainy days? Tell us about it in the comments.

Thanks for reading!


Filed Under: Children and NatureEco-ActivitiesEnvironmentNature

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